Thursday, September 17, 2015

I Entered Your House

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Minute Meditations

Jump In!
Once you determine to the best of your ability that your potential choice is what the Lord wants, there's only one thing left to do.  It's the same thing that you do when you see a swimming pool on a hot day--Jump in!
— from Faith, Hope & Clarity

St. Robert Bellarmine

When Robert Bellarmine was ordained in 1570, the study of Church history and the fathers of the Church was in a sad state of neglect. A promising scholar from his youth in Tuscany, he devoted his energy to these two subjects, as well as to Scripture, in order to systematize Church doctrine against the attacks of the Protestant Reformers. He was the first Jesuit to become a professor at Louvain.

His most famous work is his three-volume Disputations on the Controversies of the Christian Faith. Particularly noteworthy are the sections on the temporal power of the pope and the role of the laity. He incurred the anger of monarchists in England and France by showing the divine-right-of-kings theory untenable. He developed the theory of the indirect power of the pope in temporal affairs; although he was defending the pope against the Scottish philosopher Barclay, he also incurred the ire of Pope Sixtus V.

Bellarmine was made a cardinal by Pope Clement VIII on the grounds that "he had not his equal for learning." While he occupied apartments in the Vatican, Bellarmine relaxed none of his former austerities. He limited his household expenses to what was barely essential, eating only the food available to the poor. He was known to have ransomed a soldier who had deserted from the army and he used the hangings of his rooms to clothe poor people, remarking, "The walls won't catch cold."

Among many activities, he became theologian to Pope Clement VIII, preparing two catechisms which have had great influence in the Church.

The last major controversy of Bellarmine's life came in 1616 when he had to admonish his friend Galileo, whom he admired. Bellarmine delivered the admonition on behalf of the Holy Office, which had decided that the heliocentric theory of Copernicus (the sun as stationary) was contrary to Scripture. The admonition amounted to a caution against putting forward—other than as a hypothesis—theories not yet fully proved. This shows that saints are not infallible.

Bellarmine died on September 17, 1621. The process for his canonization was begun in 1627 but was delayed until 1930 for political reasons, stemming from his writings. In 1930, Pope Pius XI canonized him and the next year declared him a doctor of the Church.


The renewal in the Church sought by Vatican II was difficult for many Catholics. In the course of change, many felt a lack of firm guidance from those in authority. They yearned for the stone columns of orthodoxy and an iron command with clearly defined lines of authority.

Vatican II assures us in The Church in the Modern World, "There are many realities which do not change and which have their ultimate foundation in Christ, who is the same yesterday and today, yes, and forever" (#10, quoting Hebrews 13:8). 

Robert Bellarmine devoted his life to the study of Scripture and Catholic doctrine. His writings help us understand that not only is the content of our faith important, it is Jesus' living person—as revealed by his life, death and resurrection—that is the source of revelation.

The real source of our faith is not merely a set of doctrines but rather the person of Christ still living in the Church today.

When he left his apostles, Jesus assured them of his living presence: "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you to the complete truth" (John 16:30).


"Sharing in solicitude for all the Churches, bishops exercise this episcopal office of theirs, received through episcopal consecration, in communion with and under the authority of the Supreme Pontiff. All are united in a college or body with respect to teaching the universal Church of God and governing her as shepherds" (Vatican II, Decree on the Bishops' Pastoral Office, 3).

Patron Saint of:



Daily Prayer - 2015-09-17


I reflect for a moment on God's presence around me and in me.
Creator of the universe, the sun and the moon, the earth,
every molecule, every atom, everything that is:
God is in every beat of my heart. God is with me, now.


God is not foreign to my freedom.
Instead the Spirit breathes life into my most intimate desires,
gently nudging me towards all that is good.
I ask for the grace to let myself be enfolded by the Spirit.


In the presence of my loving Creator, I look honestly at my feelings over the last day, the highs, the lows and the level ground. Can I see where the Lord has been present?

The Word of God


Reading 1 1 Tm 4:12-16

Let no one have contempt for your youth,
but set an example for those who believe,
in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.
Until I arrive, attend to the reading, exhortation, and teaching.
Do not neglect the gift you have,
which was conferred on you through the prophetic word
with the imposition of hands by the presbyterate.
Be diligent in these matters, be absorbed in them,
so that your progress may be evident to everyone.
Attend to yourself and to your teaching;
persevere in both tasks,
for by doing so you will save
both yourself and those who listen to you.

Responsorial Psalm PS 111:7-8, 9, 10

R. (2) How great are the works of the Lord!
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
sure are all his precepts,
Reliable forever and ever,
wrought in truth and equity.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
He has sent deliverance to his people;
he has ratified his covenant forever;
holy and awesome is his name.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
prudent are all who live by it.
His praise endures forever.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!

Alleluia Mt 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 7:36-50

A certain Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him,
and he entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at table.
Now there was a sinful woman in the city
who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee.
Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment,
she stood behind him at his feet weeping
and began to bathe his feet with her tears.
Then she wiped them with her hair,
kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself,
"If this man were a prophet,
he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him,
that she is a sinner."
Jesus said to him in reply,
"Simon, I have something to say to you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.
"Two people were in debt to a certain creditor;
one owed five hundred days' wages and the other owed fifty.
Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both.
Which of them will love him more?"
Simon said in reply,
"The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven."
He said to him, "You have judged rightly."
Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon,
"Do you see this woman?
When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet,
but she has bathed them with her tears
and wiped them with her hair.
You did not give me a kiss,
but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered.
You did not anoint my head with oil,
but she anointed my feet with ointment.
So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven;
hence, she has shown great love.
But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little."
He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
The others at table said to themselves,
"Who is this who even forgives sins?"
But he said to the woman,
"Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

- - -


Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Notice how much of the Gospels is centred on meals. So true is this that it has been said that you could 'eat' your way through the New Testament!
  • Like this anonymous woman, I am searching for Jesus, and I bring my sinfulness with me. In some way, that sinfulness is my gift to him. I observe his respect for her: he could have recoiled from her touch and demanded that she be thrown out. Instead he has all the time in the world for her, and he has endless time for me too. He notices small gestures -- the tiny touches of love shown in water, oil, tears, kisses.
  • What small gestures of love can I show him? This woman is simple, extravagant, humble, trusting. Let me learn from her and so come closer to Jesus.


Begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture you have just read.
What part of it strikes a chord in you?
Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story you have heard recently -
will slowly rise to the surface of your consciousness.
If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to you?


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
world without end.


Catholic Meditations

Meditation: 1 Timothy 4:12-16

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Saint Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)

Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)

How would you fill in this blank?

Let no one have contempt for your _____________________.

If you were required to jump out of your chair today and take up a ministry like Paul's, what would be your primary concern? Would you be afraid that people would mock your lack of experience? Would you protest that you're too old? Too young? Not bold enough or articulate enough?

We all have things that make us feel as if we could never measure up, but that shouldn't discourage us from trying to spread the good news of Christ in our corner of the world. God knows that we have challenges, but he still calls us to move past them. What's more, he wants to help us. That's why he asks us to consider another fill-in-the-blank statement:

Do not neglect the gifts of __________________that God has given you.

It's easy to focus on our perceived shortcomings or hurdles, but this isn't how God sees us. Yes, he knows where we struggle. He knows that people may oppose us or dismiss us out of hand. But he also knows everything that he has poured into our lives. He knows, better than anyone else, that grace is more than capable of lifting us up and helping us deal with whatever limitations we may think we have.

Today, think about these two blanks. What are your challenges? What are your gifts? Be careful not to focus only on the first question. Make it a point to give just as much thought to the second. You may be surprised by what you find!

Remember, you don't ever have to worry about being God's perfect servant. God doesn't want perfection. He just wants intention. He simply wants a desire to walk with him every day. If you can offer him just that, he will be sure to fill in all of the blanks you find in your life.

"Lord, erase my fear of failure or rejection, and remind me of my gifts and your guiding hand. By your grace, help me do the work you have set aside for me."


Psalm 111:7-10
Luke 7:36-50





After reading today's 5minutos reflection on today's Holy Gospel, it leaves you thinking, "if not Jesus, then who?", because He came to turn the world upside down, He came to love those who were not loved or were termed "unlovable".  He came to reach out to those that were not being reached out to.  If not Jesus, then who?  Because the Jews were shutting the doors to Heaven...not God.  If there is starvation in the world and violence, it is not because of God, it is because of us and our choices.  Let's take this to heart and live the Gospel then.  Today's 1st Holy Scripture ended with "Attend to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in both tasks, for by doing so you will save both yourself and those who listen to you."  This means apply yourself, apply to yourself the Word of God and to others.  Apply then, the love of God.  What's the matter with you?  Do you not love Jesus?  Do you not love God?  It is evident by the way we live, and perhaps this is why we marginalize many, since they seem not to love God by the way they live, they are outcasts in our lives, and we don't want them around our lives "If Jesus Only Knew" we act, and Jesus does know exactly what you are saying in your mind and your heart.
The Psalms pray on "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; prudent are all who live by it. His praise endures forever."  And "How great are the works of the Lord".  What was so great?  That He came long, long ago, and worked in the lives of some people and spoke to some prophets?  Is that what's so great?  LOL.  Well, that's a shallow way of seeing things.  How about for starters, that He created the Universe and the world you live in today.  What's so great about it?  Maybe you see some nice things, experience some neat things, and you've felt a love maybe.  But have you ever experienced the Love of God?  What does this mean?  God's love for ME?  Well, how about...YOUR love for God?  Have you ever experienced THAT?  Fear of the Lord begins this wisdom, this...knowing.  His works soon are revealed.
Jesus is presented today, at table with some people that opened their home to Him to come eat.  How many times do we invite Jesus into our home?  Many people have, and many people do.  Last night in our co-worker bible study, some guys from Mexico recalled how some old ladies always made food for them when they went to their house.  That's something special I remember about the people, their...the hospitality.  It is kind of overbearing, almost an insult if you don't accept what they make for you.  LOL, the guy recalled "I remember one time I went to her house and that time I WAS hungry unlike all the other times and she didn't offer to make me anything and I really wanted food".  Why is it that when we want, it's not there and it's always there when we don't want it?  Jesus is in the Eucharist.  People go take His body out of obligation, but how do you really let Jesus into your home, your heart?  Have you ever experienced the love of God?  We discussed this coming Sunday's Gospel last night.  Jesus asks them "what are y'all discussing" and the disciples say kind of shy "we were wanting to know who was the greatest among us".  Jesus says the greatest must serve the rest...that is to say, be the least.  Then He takes a child and hugs the child and says ""Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me."  I asked the group last night, "who is that little child in your life?"  Answers bounced around, and one guy said Jesus.  I put in my 2 cents, but before a phone call interrupted.  It was a drunk guy we all know, a friend, a relative.  Fearing he was drunk dialing me, I answered in front of everyone.  But I answered because I knew it was Jesus.  I answered lovingly.  The call was about asking for prayer for an ex-worker whose daughter and grandchild were almost killed in an explosion in their trailer house.  He was saying he started a collection of money because they lost everything and they were in critical condition in the hospital.  What if I had decided to make the call wait?  Suddenly, that sinful lady is popping up need of God's love and those who respond meet Jesus.  I am asking you now, are you embracing Jesus?  I told them the time me and my son took a gift my wife made for an elderly lady in the nursing home.  I think her name was Margaret Porter.  We walked in and she was in her bed kind of asleep.  She saw us and was delighted to receive the gift.  Then she said something I'll never forget as she died weeks later..."you made Jesus happy".  She knew me as the balloon man, things my wife made me take to them. Another elderly lady called me the guitar man.  I want you to not think of mr Adrian, I want you to be thinking of Jesus in YOUR Life.  Because the least in the world possess the heart of Jesus up for grabs to experience love.  Do you WANT to experience the love of God?  If Jesus hadn't began the change of the world where would we be now?  And the continuation of God's love is in your hands.  And you know where else He is most abandoned? Most often, the Blessed Sacrament.  Most often, in confessionals. Most often in your own home, He sits in a corner where you made Him stay.  Most often, in your day to day business in those people you don't have time for.  Most often, in the marginalized, the least....If God saw Himself in the sinner's can you not love Love?  What is blocking this world from being converted into seeing people?  Be converted!  Be ALIVE!  BE IN LOVE WITH GOD!!!!

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